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Big Demands, Big Rewards

What Hawaii’s Top Execs Are Paid

(page 1 of 5)

Not everyone is suited to run a big Hawaii corporation or nonprofit. It usually takes decades of struggle to make it to the top, where the work is even more stressful, demanding and risky. But the pay can make it worthwhile: At least five Hawaii CEOs had total compensation of more than $1 million last year and the highest paid, W. Allen Doane, received a total of $2.8 million before he retired as chairman and CEO of Alexander & Baldwin.

Even board members of big corporations can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for what appear to be part-time jobs, but are actually roles that require valuable knowledge and hard-to-acquire experience, and come with financial risks.

This article reports the compensation for CEOs and board members of 12 of Hawaii’s biggest organizations, as ranked by the Hawaii Business Top 250. The information is based on 2009 data from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the most recent filings of the IRS Form 990 (some companies use the calendar year; others have a different fiscal year).

Hawaii Business did not include speculative option awards or other change-in-pension values or deferred-compensation earnings in which values change from year to year and may significantly skew annual compensation figures. In years when the company’s stock price rises high, these awards can be worth millions; in other years, they can be worthless or pension values can actually decline.


Jeffrey Watanabe
(also a director of HEI subsidiaries Hawaiian Electric Co. and American Savings Bank)

Fees earned or paid in cash:$345,000
Stock awards: $34,236
Other compensation.: $20,288*
Total: $399,524

* Under a program for American Savings Bank, a subsidiary of HEI, Watanabe and Gushman were eligible to receive preferential rate mortgage loans because they were ASB directors at the time the loans were granted. In 2009, Watanabe received $20,288 and Gushman received $62,869 in “other compensation,” which represents the difference between the market interest rate at the time of the original loan and the preferential interest-rate loans by ASB. The program has been discontinued.

Constance Lau
(also chair of HECO, chair/CEO of ASB)

Salary: $771,800
Stock awards: $921,483
Bonus: $0
(voluntarily waived payment of the 2009 bonus)
Nonequity incentive plan comp.: $338,106
Other compensation: $34,049
Total: $2,065,438

Richard Gushman II
Highest paid director
(also a director of ASB)

Fees earned or paid in cash: $74,000
Stock awards: $34,236
All other comp.: $62,869 *
Total: $171,105

(Where applicable, compensation reflects earnings from HEI, HECO and ASB boards)

Don Carroll
Shirley Daniel
Adm. Thomas Fargo (ret.)
Richard Gushman II
Victor Li
A. Maurice Myers
Diane Plotts
James Scott
Kelvin Taketa
Barry Taniguchi

Breakdown of HEI non-employee directors’ annual retainer and meeting fees:
Nonexecutive chairman of the board: $250,000
Director: $40,000
Audit committee chair: $15,000
Compensation committee chair: $10,000
Nominating and corporate governance committee chair: $5,000

Committee meeting fees:
Audit committee – $1,250 per meeting after eight meetings
Nominating and corporate governance committee – $500 per meeting after six meetings
Compensation committee – $500 per meeting after six meetings.

All committees except the executive committee, which had no formal meetings, convened four times in 2009. Directors who serve on the boards and committees of ASB and HECO receive additional retainer and meeting fees.

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